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Reese Witherspoon's Four Christmases survival secrets

Joel D. Amos is a Los Angeles-based writer, and the Senior Entertainment Editor here at SheKnows. He has interviewed numerous celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Katherine Heigl, Rachel McAdams, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaw...

Oscar-winning interview

Reese Witherspoon found starring opposite Vince Vaughn in Four Christmases one of the great challenges of her career. Witherspoon tells SheKnows all about it as Four Christmases lands on DVD and Blu-ray December 1.

Keep in mind, Witherspoon has an Oscar for her portrayal of June Cash in Walk the Line opposite Joaquin Phoenix. "Being funny next to him was intimidating," Witherspoon says to SheKnows.

Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn in Four Christmases

Witherspoon not only had Vaughn as an actor with powerful chops to test her mettle, the Four Christmascast is an all-star affair. Mary Steenburgen, Kristen Chenoweth, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Tim McGraw and Witherspoon's favorite, Robert Duvall.

Witherspoon spoke to SheKnows in February for Penelope, her first foray into film producing, now as producer and star once more, she is as relaxed as she is charming.

Holiday calm

SheKnows:Here we are upon the holiday season once more, is your experience more holiday panic or passion?

Reese Witherspoon:Can we get through Thanksgiving first? I mean, I'm hearing Christmas music already!

SheKnows:We as a culture plan ahead, I guess!

Reese Witherspoon: Still, I'm just trying get through Thanksgiving (laughs). It starts with the parties, and then there's the family starts trickling in. Then, you get to get rid of the family, then you get to sleep for a few days, then it's New Year's.

SheKnows: In Four Christmases, the complications and thus, the humor, arises from the fact there are divorced parents. In your home, how do you balance the kids and their father Ryan Phillipe while being fair? It is becoming more of a universal question these days.

Reese and her family take a winter strollReese Witherspoon:I think the most important thing is the children. What do they want? Do they feel comfortable? Do they have everything they need emotionally? It's an important day to be grown up about it and not let any kind of feelings enter in with your children. I'm very lucky that we raised our kids to be happy. It's all about them. There's a lot of communication and being very open about things. There's nothing between us that's bigger than the children.

Vince Vaughn lessons

SheKnows: When new spoke in February, you were making Four Christmasesand were delighting in working with Vince. Now, looking back - how was the entire experience?

Reese Witherspoon:He is so smart and so funny on top of his head. He's the smartest person I've ever worked with in my entire life. When you're working with someone like that you need to be free to let them do whatever they want to do and you can keep up with them. That was a challenge for me. I had to keep up with him. He taught me a lot. I feel a better actor for it.

SheKnows:Was he very improvisational?

Reese Witherspoon: We knew everyday what we were shooting. We worked on the script for four months before we ever built a set. Each scene we broke it down, started over – so by the time we got to shooting, we really knew what we were doing. That gave me a taste of what to expect from Vince before we got to set.

Up next...Reese addresses the rumors she and Vince did not get along and shares thoughts on children

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